What is your Brewery name and where did it come from?
ShinDigger. We started brewing a couple of years ago when we were around 21. We were shocked by how many people our age were put off ale because of a perceived ‘old man’ image. We wanted to challenge this perception by building our company on an ethos of “Enjoying the Moment”. And that is where the name ShinDigger, derived from ShinDig – to party, comes from.
What is different about your brewery?
We are different in the fact we don’t actually own a brewery. We are gypsy brewers. This means our beers are brewed at different breweries across the North-West. Basically we trial recipes on our homebrew kit in our flat. Then we upscale on someone else’s commercial kit. This business model has enabled us to start-up with very little capital.
How did you get into brewing?
Me and my business partner Paul bought a homebrew kit whilst living together at university in 2012. The beers were brewed in the basement of our student house. After a few goes, we started selling our homebrew at student house parties. And this is where the first seeds of a business were planted. Then around spring 2013 we got a loan from the government and that gave us the capital to get our business off the ground. Later that summer we began brewing at Outstanding Brewing Co in Bury.
What beers do you brew regularly?
Pacific Pale Ale – a fruity pale ale loaded with NZ and American hops.
West Coast Pale Ale – a blonde pale ale with West Coast American hops. We are tweaking the recipes every brew on a quest for continuous improvement. We are also brewing our third beer for the first time on the commercial scale next week, a Black IPA. And we are planning our fourth beer, which at the moment is looking like a hoppy lager.
Where do you think the future of brewing lies?
As everyone knows, craft beer is booming. We really believe the potential is huge. In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly more interested in what they consume and the ethos behind it, given craft beer is an industry with genuine soul, who knows how far it can go.
Do you bottle/keg/cask your beer?
All 3 – but preference is keg.
What is you proudest moment in brewing?
2 moments spring to mind. Firstly, and probably most obviously, the first time we ordered a pint of my own beer. It was at the Knott in Manchester – a truly beautiful moment for us.
The second moment involves Burton Road, Didsbury. A lovely part of the world. When we first started we tried to get our beer into some outlets there but nothing ever happened. Then after some persistence, we started supplying some places and then the repeat orders came in. There was a moment I remember vividly when I was standing in the beer garden of the Folk, Burton Road drinking a cask of our Pacific Pale Ale. 20 metres to the left, we had bottles in the Epicurean and 50 metres to the right, we had keg in Mary & Archies. I could feel a sense that our empire was growing.
Do you have any brewing regrets?
I am on a weekly basis regretting buying my beer from bars for three times the price I sold it to them and getting ID’d in the process.
What is your brewing ambition?
We want to get our own kit and are making steps forwards to achieving this. This will be a big challenge from both a brewing perspective as we will be entirely independent (at the moment we get lots of assistance from the breweries we brew with) and also an engineering/maintenance perspective. However it is a challenge we are ready to embrace.
I would also love to see our range in cans. There is something about craft beer in cans that hits home for me. I cannot wait to get my hands on some Beavertown cans which they are launching this summer.
What was last beer you drank?
Longhorn IPA – Purity Brewing Co. Not just saying it but one of the best beers I’ve drank this year, too.
What is your favourite hop and why?
Nelson or Chinook. I’m going to say Chinook because I think Nelson is a common one. I just love the big combination of pine and grapefruit.
If you could brew one collaboration beer with someone who would it be with and what would it be?
The one and only Mikkeller. Need to get a kit between us first!
Which beer do you wish you had brewed?
Beavertown Gamma Ray – I love beers with a big juicy nose.
How do you spend your time when you aren’t brewing?
Let’s just say my life has 3 mindsets; working, partying and being hungover.
Do you have a website/twitter/blog?
Yep, you can find us on twitter @ShinDiggerCraft – come and talk to us!
Also our website is www.shindiggerbrewing.co